My interns, students, and colleagues have been asking me to drill down on what the difference is between the Amish religion and the culture. So I created a 20-minute video, along with a one-page cheat sheet, for them. That video, however, is still only an introduction and doesn’t replace follow up coursework and training.

​​(If you’d like to see this video, it’s free via the 5-Day Challenge).

The short answer to today’s question is

“Amish culture is anything that isn’t mandated by the Amish religion (Amish law). But not all Amish laws are universal; the laws vary from community to community.” Torah Bontrager

What’s an example of Amish law?

​​The best analogy I can give to help make sense out of this is to think of America’s federal vs. state laws. Just like it’s a federal crime to be in possession of marijuana in all states, so it’s a universal crime in the Amish to drive a car. Similar to how states’ speed limit laws vary, so do individual Amish communities’ clothing styles and colors vary.

What’s an example of Amish culture?

Two examples of Amish culture are our food and . . .

language. The religion doesn’t mandate that we make delicious pastries or eat meat and potatoes. Likewise, we aren’t required by Amish law to speak Amish.

Watch the Video

The short video below is the audio version of this blog post.

To education,
Amish Culture Courses by Torah Bontrager,

FREE 5-Day Challenge (online course) “Who Are the Amish? Everything You Need to Know to Get Started as a Social Worker, Educator, or Advocate“: ➜

Want the scoop on Amish life? Sign up for my FREE weekly Amish Insider & get a link to download “4 Popular Myths About the Amish“: ➜

FREE CHAPTER of my memoir Amish Girl in Manhattan. Click here.

Amish culture books, visit: ➜

WANT SOME ONE-ON-ONE HELP? Or Want Me to Speak? If you or your school, department, or organization are interested, I give customized presentations or guest lectures via Zoom and culturally sensitive webinar trainings for social workers and law enforcement. Email me at torah @ for more info.

WANT TO LEARN MORE? Visit to view all of the courses available to you. New courses added monthly.